by PuckStopsHere on 07/04/12 at 03:05 PM ET
The class of the 2012 free agent class is Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. They are both all star capable players who are young enough to remain in their primes. Teams have been chasing them since free agency opened up on Sunday. Today we learn they are both headed to Minnesota. Both players signed 13 year deals worth a total of $98 million. This gives them a salary cap hit of $7.538 million each. While these are big numbers, the salary cap is constantly going up and a potential salary rollback in the new CBA would make these numbers smaller in practise.
Parise was born in Minneapolis while his father J.P. Parise was playing there. Suter is from the nearby state of Wisconsin. Both players have played together several times in international competitions for the US and chose to play together.
These signings make Minnesota a likely playoff team. In a parity-filled NHL, any team that makes the playoffs can win the Stanley Cup ( even an eighth seed).
Only in the NHL is Minnesota a desired market for free agents. I couldn’t imagine basketball or baseball players flocking to Minnesota as free agents. In hockey Minnesota and its neighboring states produce a significant portion of players who may want to return home.
Now that Parise and Suter are off the market, the teams that failed to sign them may turn to trades to try to fill their holes. We may see Rick Nash, Roberto Luongo or others move in the not too distant future.
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